Caruana wins Reykjavik 2012, Hou misses big chance

3/13/2012 – We came this close to a major sensation. 18-year-old Hou Yifan, the reigning women's world champion, had a winning position against the tournament leader Fabiano Caruana, and would have finished the tournament in first place if she had steered the game to victory. But Fabiano has some special guardian angels and escaped with a draw and finished in sole first place himself. Final report.

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The The N1 Reykjavik Open 2012 is being held from March 6 to March 13, 2012, in Harpa, Reykjavik's spectacular new music hall on the harbour, just five minutes walk to downtown Reykjavik. The event is a nine-round Swiss, with top players including Fabiano Caruana, David Navara, Ivan Cheparinov, Ivan Sokolov, Hou Yifan, Robert Hess, Gawain Jones, Yuriy Kuzubov, Erwin l'Ami, and many others. The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds increment from move one. Prizes are € 5,000 for the winner, € 2,000 for second place, € 1,250 for 3rd, etc., with a total of € 15,000.

Fabiano Caruana wins Reykjavik 2012

Before the final (ninth) round Italian GM Fabiano Caruana led the field by half a point. Behind him four GMs trying to catch him: Ivan Sokolov of the Netherlands, David Navara of the Czech Republic, Israeli Boris Avrukh and reigning women's world champion Hou Yifan. In the final round Sokolov drew Avruhk, and Navara drew his black game against Bulgarian GM Ivan Cheparinov. So the game Hou Yifan vs Fabiano Caruana would decide it all. This is how it went:

[Event "Reykjavik Open 2012"] [Site "Reykjavik/Iceland"] [Date "2012.03.13"] [Round "9"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C78"] [WhiteElo "2639"] [BlackElo "2767"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. d4 Bb6 9. h3 O-O 10. Be3 h6 11. Nbd2 Re8 12. Re1 {0.16/0} Bd7 {0.12/0} 13. Qb1 { 0.00/0} Na5 {0.00/0} 14. Bc2 {-0.10/0} c5 {0.00/0} 15. d5 {0.00/0} c4 {0.00/0} 16. b4 {0.00/0} cxb3 {0.04/0} 17. axb3 {0.20/0} Bxe3 {0.03/0} 18. Rxe3 {0.32/0} Nb7 {0.32/0} 19. b4 {0.12/0} Nh5 {0.28/0} 20. Bd3 {0.22/0} Nf4 {0.40/0} 21. Bf1 {0.56/0} Rf8 {0.35/0} 22. c4 {0.43/0} bxc4 {0.32/0} 23. Bxc4 {0.28/0} a5 {0.48/ 0} 24. bxa5 {0.52/0} Nxa5 {0.17/0} 25. Qb4 {0.13/0} Nxc4 {0.48/0} 26. Rxa8 {0. 44/0} Qxa8 {0.78/0} 27. Nxc4 {0.33/0} Qa1+ {0.29/0} 28. Re1 {0.13/0} Qa2 {0.21/ 0} 29. Nfd2 {0.17/0} Rc8 $1 {0.10/0} 30. Re3 {0.00/0} Qc2 {0.00/0} 31. Kh2 {0. 00/0 As you can see from our Let's Check evaluation graph on the left the position has been essentially a draw for some time now.} Nd3 $2 {2.48/0} ( 31... Qd1 32. Qb3 Qa1 {etc. would have stayed within the drawing margin.}) 32. Qb7 $18 {2.29/0} Nc5 {2.44/0} 33. Qb6 {2.63/0} Nd3 {2.79/0} 34. Nxd6 {2.16/0} Rf8 {2.68/0} 35. N6c4 {2.26/0} (35. N2c4 {Moving the other knight to c4 was the better option.}) 35... Nxf2 {1.93/0} 36. Qb1 {1.13/0} Qxb1 {1.36/0} 37. Nxb1 {0.95/0} Bb5 {1.85/0} 38. Nba3 {1.41/0} Ba6 {1.27/0} 39. Nxe5 {1.51/0} Re8 {1.46/0} 40. d6 {1.40/0} Bb7 {1.56/0 White is still winning, but now throws it away immediately after the time control.} 41. Nxf7 $2 {0.04/0} (41. Nac4 Nxe4 42. d7 Rd8 43. Na5 Bd5 44. Rd3 Nf6 45. Rxd5 Nxd5 46. Nb7 {was one way of converting the advantage to victory.}) 41... Kxf7 $11 {0.07/0 The plan doesn't work, the young women's world champion has simply dropped half a point.} 42. Rf3+ {0.06/0} Ke6 {0.07/0} 43. Nb5 {0.06/0} Rb8 $1 {0.04/0} 44. Rxf2 {0.00/0} Bxe4 {0.03/0} 45. Re2 {0.00/0} Rxb5 {0.00/0} 46. Rxe4+ {0.00/0} Kxd6 47. Kg3 Kd5 1/2-1/2

This draw left Fabiano Caruana (above) with 7.5/9 points and an unchallenged first place. Seven players were half a point behind the American born Italian, among them the unlucky Hou Yifan. Three players, Caruana, Sokolov and Hou did not lose any games, and all three displayed a performance above 2700.


Second: Dutch GM Ivan Sokolov, of Bulgarian/Bosnia extraction


In third place: Czech GM David Navara lost one game (to Sokolov)

Hou Yifan (above) gained a number of rating points and now stands at 2646 on ChessPro's live rating list of women. That is easily the second highest rating ever achieved by a female player – the extraordinary Judit Polgar is still 63 points ahead of the Chinese super-talent (who is 55 points ahead of her nearest rival, Anna Muzychuk).

Top final standings (after nine rounds)

Rk.
Title
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts.
TB1
TB2
TB3
Perf.
1
GM
Caruana Fabiano
ITA
2767
7.5
56.0
44.0
45.50
2777
2
GM
Sokolov Ivan
NED
2653
7.0
56.0
43.5
42.25
2744
3
GM
Navara David
CZE
2700
7.0
55.5
44.0
42.00
2709
4
GM
Jones Gawain C B
ENG
2635
7.0
53.0
41.0
39.00
2697
5
GM
Avrukh Boris
ISR
2591
7.0
51.5
42.0
37.75
2667
6
GM
Hou Yifan
CHN
2639
7.0
51.5
40.0
39.75
2677
7
GM
Maze Sebastien
FRA
2577
7.0
50.0
39.5
38.50
2569
8
GM
Danielsen Henrik
ISL
2504
7.0
48.5
38.0
38.00
2574
9
GM
Cheparinov Ivan
BUL
2664
6.5
56.0
44.5
38.00
2695
10
GM
Hess Robert L
USA
2635
6.5
53.5
42.0
36.50
2638
11
GM
L'ami Erwin
NED
2611
6.5
52.0
40.0
36.00
2543
12
GM
Kryvoruchko Yuriy
UKR
2666
6.5
51.5
40.0
36.25
2594
13
GM
Stefansson Hannes
ISL
2531
6.5
50.0
39.0
34.25
2541
14
GM
Papin Vasily
RUS
2575
6.5
49.5
39.5
35.00
2489
15
GM
Baklan Vladimir
UKR
2612
6.5
49.5
38.0
34.00
2578
16
GM
Kveinys Aloyzas
LTU
2512
6.5
49.0
38.5
34.50
2474
17
GM
Steingrimsson Hedinn
ISL
2556
6.5
48.5
37.5
33.75
2497
18
GM
Halkias Stelios
GRE
2588
6.5
48.5
37.5
33.50
2494
19
IM
Akshayraj Kore
IND
2422
6.0
52.5
42.5
32.00
2563
20
GM
Kuzubov Yuriy
UKR
2615
6.0
52.5
41.5
34.00
2543
21
IM
Gretarsson Hjorvar Steinn
ISL
2460
6.0
49.5
39.0
29.75
2513
FM
Moen Andreas
NOR
2360
6.0
49.5
39.0
29.75
2431
23
GM
Ipatov Alexander
TUR
2561
6.0
49.0
39.5
30.25
2484
24
WGM
L'ami Alina
ROU
2372
6.0
49.0
37.5
30.00
2414
25
GM
Williams Simon K
ENG
2506
6.0
48.0
37.0
28.75
2462
26
IM
Kristiansen Jens
DEN
2432
6.0
47.0
36.5
30.00
2403
27
IM
Krush Irina
USA
2461
6.0
47.0
35.5
28.50
2457
28
GM
Libiszewski Fabien
FRA
2523
6.0
46.5
36.5
30.00
2406
29
IM
Ziska Helgi Dam
FAI
2456
6.0
46.5
35.5
29.00
2431
30
FM
Sigfusson Sigurdur
ISL
2346
6.0
46.0
34.5
27.75
2378
31
IM
Arnold Marc T
USA
2502
6.0
45.5
35.0
29.00
2414
32
FM
Kiewra Keaton F
USA
2355
6.0
44.5
34.5
28.25
2353
33
GM
Shulman Yuri
USA
2594
6.0
43.5
34.5
27.25
2317
34
FM
Thompson Ian D
ENG
2255
6.0
41.5
32.0
23.50
2273

Links

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